|Date of Birth||March 16, 1894|
|Place of Birth||Keewatin, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Alzire Paquin, Lebret, Saskatchewan|
|Trade / Calling||fireman|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Date of Enlistment||January 14, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||20|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||September 27, 1916|
|Age at Death||22|
|Buried At||no known grave/Vimy Memorial|
Joseph Rene Boileau was born on 16 March 1894 in Keewatin, Ontario. His parents were Pierre and Alzire (née Lalonde) Boileau. Pierre, born in Quebec, a widower, was listed as a mechanic on their marriage registration in Keewatin on 17 October 1891. Alzire was from Rigaud, Quebec. At the time of Rene’s birth Pierre was working as a carpenter. Just over a year and a half later, on their 4 year wedding anniversary, Pierre died on 17 October 1895.
After Pierre’s death Alzire later married Noel Paquin in Lebret, Saskatchewan. The 1911 census found the family farming in the Lebret, Saltscoat, Saskatchewan district, with household members of Noel and Alzire, Rene, and two children that had been born to the family since the marriage.
Rene Boileau enlisted in Melville, Saskatchewan on 14 January 1915, occupation given as fireman. With the 1st Reinforcing Draft of the 45th Battalion, he embarked from Montreal aboard the SS Grampian on 1 June 1915. Upon arrival in England he was posted to the 9th Reserve Battalion before being transferred to the 5th Battalion that had been organized at Valcartier in September of 1914. Composed of recruits from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, the battalion had arrived in France in February of 1915. Rene joined the unit in France on 18 July 1915.
On 27 September 1916 at Thiepval Ridge, Private Rene Boileau was ‘previously reported Missing, now for official purposes presumed to have died’. Along with the names of over 11 000 Canadian soldiers who were also posted as ‘missing, presumed dead’, Rene’s name is inscribed on the Vimy Memorial in Pas de Calais, France. Notification was sent to his mother back in Lebret.
Rene’s mother Alzire Paquin died in 1924 and his stepfather Noel Paquin in 1930. Both are interred in Lebret. Rene is commemorated on page 56 of the First World War Book of Remembrance and on the Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial.
by Judy Stockham
Photograph of Vimy Memorial names by annabanana, findagrave.com.